Keep the Pollen Out of Your Home and Energy Costs Down

From Realty Times:

Green homes are becoming increasingly more popular. Finding ways to advertise a home as being energy-efficient can spark a level of interest in prospective buyers. And as the seasons start to change and spring pollen floats into the air, having a solution to keep the pollen out of a home and save on a home’s electricity bill is a plus.

Full Story:

Edible Landscape Workshop coming in March


What: Learn how to design and install your own edible landscape

When: Slide show March 19, 2009 / Four session workshop starting March 25, 2009

Where: Phinney Neighborhood Center, Seattle

Fee: Slide show – $30.00 / Workshop – $250.00 for four design sessions

Who Should Attend:
~ Homeowners & do-it-yourselfers looking to learn how to grow their own fruits, berries and vegetables.
~ Students looking to learn principles of sustainable landscape design.
~ Landscape professionals who want to incorporate edible landscaping into their clients yards.

Details: In this 4-part class, participants will draw an edible landscape plan customized for their yard and learn how to install basic elements of a functional garden. Two classroom sessions will introduce principles of sustainable design and help participants design their own edible landscape.
Hands-on skills will be learned in two field sessions where participants will learn how to:
Build a raised vegetable bed
Plant fruit trees and berries
Build an herb spiral

Design Sessions: March 25 & 30, 7:00 to 9:00 pm,Phinney Neighborhood Center

Field Sessions: March 29 & April 4, 9:00am to 1:00pm, location to be determined

Slide Show: March 19, 7:00pm to 9:00pm, Phinney Neighborhood Center

Facilitator:Michael Lockman, M.A. President & founder of WEdesign Inc.
A freelance writer and former adjunct professor in Antioch University’s Environment and Community program, Michael holds an M.A. in Ecological Design.WEdesign was created in 1995 to offer organic and sustainable landscaping options for home and landowners in and around Seattle.

Contact:Michael Lockman
Phone: 206-459-7022

Looking for live blogger at Built Green Conference

I was contacted by a media rep about blogging live for the keynote by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the Built Green Conference on March 6th. Unfortunately I can not go, (I am operating my company’s real estate office), but wanted to do my part to see if I can make it happen – so it would almost be like I *was* there! It is Earth911 who is looking to connect with a live blogger.

Contact me if you are going and want to blog live and I can connect you with the media rep. It would be a great service to the rest of the world!

Here’s the press release:

Robert F. Kennedy Junior to Keynote 2009 Built Green Conference

Region’s most prominent green building event will focus on the role of green building practices in the changing economy

Seattle (January 23, 2009) – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will be the featured speaker at the March 6th, 2009 Built Green Conference at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. Mr. Kennedy, a long-time environmentalist, chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeepers, and president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, will speak to the ways businesses can utilize sound environmental policies and procedures to their benefit.

With a focus on green building and design practices, attendees of the 2009 Built Green conference will find practical information geared towards creating sustainable homes and communities. According to data from the Multiple Listing Service, homes featuring environmentally savvy designs have been selling for 4.8 percent more locally compared with non-green built homes. Four- and five-star Built Green certified homes sell an average of 24 percent faster than non-certified homes. Since the program began in 1999, Built Green has certified over 13,000 homes in King and Snohomish Counties.

“Homebuyers have become savvier about the benefits green building can provide, and are opting for green certified homes more frequently,” said Aaron Adelstein, executive director of Built Green of King and Snohomish Counties. “This conference will be the best resource for builders, designers and other professionals to find out about the value of green building – especially in the current economy.”

Speakers at the conference range from local builders specializing in green design and construction, to financial specialists who will discuss the role of green building in the economy, to marketing professionals who will address effective strategies for promoting green real estate projects and developments. Additional topics will include the market value of green-certified buildings and projects, financing solutions for energy efficiency retrofits, how to successfully market green-certified projects, and much more.

According to Adelstein, “We’ve been working on an agenda that addresses the practical needs of building professionals today. We’ve pulled together many of the top green building experts and thought leaders to ensure a truly worthwhile event.”

For information on this year’s Built Green conference, including registration and exhibitor information, visit

About Built Green
Built Green is an environmentally-friendly, non-profit, residential building program of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, developed in partnership with King County, Snohomish County, and other agencies in Washington State. The Built Green Web site ( provides consumers with easy-to-understand rating systems, which quantify environmentally friendly building practices for remodeling and new home construction, communities and multi-family development units.

Don’t miss this ~ 2.27.09 7 PM Facets of the Gem: Ecovillage Experiments Around the World

Northwest Intentional Communities Association (NICA) is pleased to have Karen Litfin offer her fascinating slide presentation followed by Q&A.; Come and discover the common thread between people of different cultures as they live and work together in ecovillages around the world to create a sustainable future.

Karen is Associate Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies at UW. She is currently writing a book on the holistic consciousness that inspires the global ecovillage movement. Her research included a worldwide journey to ecovillages and interviews with hundreds of community members. One of her objectives in writing this book is to move her own life in a more holistic direction.

Friday, February 27th, 7 – 9 pm
No RSVP necessary, just come!
Cost: By donation
Where: Jackson Place Co-housing Common House
800 Hiawatha Place South Seattle, Washington 98144

For directions:
For info: email

Greening Your Office Operations – free webinar

Just got an email from Sustainable Industries this morning about a free webinar. Lots of time to plan and put this on your calendar if you are interested in learning more about the following:

In this one-hour Web conference presented by Sustainable Industries and Citrix Online, get insight from the experts on how to improve your overall office operations. From purchasing practices to facilities management to garnering stakeholder buy-in, learn how to reduce your company’s operating costs and its
carbon footprint.

Produced in conjunction with the 2009 Sustainable Industries Green Office Guide, this Webinar is an essential tool for business owners, facilities managers, Green Team members and other stakeholders.

Even if you are a one-person home office, you can be assured of learning SOMEthing to green your office activities. Register for free webinar

Win a FREE massage in my “Thanks For Referring” drawing

I am conducting a “thanks for referring” drawing! Refer a Potential Home Buyer friend, family member, colleague or co-worker to me via my blog/email, Twitter (@GreenSpacesRE, #SeattleGreenRE), or Facebook page through March 31st and be entered into a drawing to win a gift card good for a complimentary massage session at one of over 800 Massage Envy locations nationwide.

Or you can refer by phone and call me at 206.686.HOME. I would love to catch up with you!

Potential Home Buyer must be an active real estate shopper within my service area. Remember, I am a real estate professional and a green home specialist. I can provide real estate and relocation advice for both traditional home purchases or “green home” acquisitions in the greater Puget Sound region.

This random drawing will take place after March 31, 2009. The gift card is good for an Introductory one hour massage session, which consists of a 50-minute massage and time for consultation and dressing. Hog it for yourself, or pass it on to someone you care about. Find a Massage Envy location near you.

So tell a friend and get a few moments of that R&R; you deserve!


Example of Western Washington Massage Envy locations:

Capitol Hill #0134 In the Broadway Market at Harrison Street & Broadway Ave above QFC Grocery on the 2nd Floor
Northgate Mall #0204 In the Northgate Mall at 5th and Northgate Way by DSW and Bed, Bath & Beyond
Issaquah #0702 (Coming Soon) In the Commons at Issaquah Shopping Center at Gilman Boulevard and 7th Avenue NW

Bellevue #0016 In Ross Plaza Shopping Center by Video Only and Ross
Kirkland #0035 In the Juanita Village at 116th St NE & 98th Ave next to Walgreen’s
Shoreline #0161 In the Ballinger Village Shopping Center at 205th Ave & Ballinger Way next to Blockbuster
Redmond #0015 In the Bear Creek Village Shopping Center by Safeway and Starbucks
Newcastle #0018 In the Coal Creek Marketplace at SE 69th Way & Coal Creek Parkway SE next to the QFC
Renton Landing #0706 Located in the Renton Landing Shopping Center on Park Avenue North & North 10th Street across from Target
Woodinville #0026 Woodinville Plaza at 140th & NE Woodinville-Duvall Rd near TJ Maxx and Albertson’s
Mill Creek #0088 In Mill Creek Town Center near LA Fitness
Federal Way #0081 In Federal Way Crossings across from Costco
Everett Mall #0422 In the Everett Mall at Everett Mall Way and Interstate 5 inside the Mall, next to Macy’s
Gig Harbor #0667 In “Uptown” Gig Harbor near Galaxy Theatre, across from Ben & Jerry’s
Tacoma #0089 In Tacoma Mall between Gene Juarez and Macy’s
Bonney Lake #0670 In the Junction 192 Town Center
Puyallup #0053 In Meridian Place at Meridian St South & 116th St East next to Sports Authority
Olympia #0468 In the Westfield Capital Mall Promenade, opposite Borders and Bed Bath and Beyond
West Vancouver #0256 In the Hazel Dell Towne Center at I-5 and 99th Street near Target
East Vancouver #0257 In the Columbia Tech Center at 192nd and Mill Plain Blvd near the Home Depot

Massage Envy gift card terms include: Prices subject to change. Rates and services may vary by location. Additional local taxes and fees may apply.

Don’t miss this ~ Sustainable Spaces. Beautiful Places.

Purported to be the last NW Flower and Garden Show, it is going on now at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. I got my early bird ticket last weekend and saved $4, and Saturday morning my husband is dropping me off on his way to a BMW car event so I also escape parking costs.

I love NWFGS – the smell is the best part. The theme this year also struck close to my heart, “Sustainable Spaces. Beautiful Places.” According to an article in the Seattle Times,

“There’s a focus on container gardening for condos and small spaces at this year’s show,” says spokesman Dan Branley. “And with the popularity of ‘staycations,’ there’s lots of inspiration to make your garden a relaxing getaway at home.”

Since I moved to a townhouse in summer of ’07, chosen in part for its 200 square foot deck, I now find a new reason to really be interested in those FREE seminars that are almost impossible to get into. *sigh* Remember to pack water and snacks and interesting reading material with you if you plan on attending seminars, since you do spend a lot of time sitting around waiting to get in.

Read Focus is on small at Northwest Flower and Garden Show

And enjoy the show!

A Green Remodel from the Ground Up: Ranch House Revival

Natural Home Magazine does some great exposés on deep green remodeling. Today’s email:

A Green Remodel from the Ground Up: Ranch House Revival

When Suzanne Jones and Rob Elia bought their 1970s Northern California ranch home, they knew a green renovation was within reach and necessary. They traded out shag carpet, poor insulation and outdated appliances for recycled-newspaper insulation, tile floors and solar panels.

They’ve included a great photo gallery that shows use of recycled materials in a creative way. They also include a list of “the good stuff”

The Good Stuff

Solar electricity and hot water

Passive solar heating; no air conditioning

50 percent fly-ash concrete in walkway, entry slab, foundation repairs

Salvaged wood used whenever possible throughout house, deck, fencing, siding

Forest Stewardship Council–certified wood used when new lumber was required

Fallen oak from property used as columns, benches, counters, railings

Rainwater catchment (from Galvalume metal roof) used for irrigation

Brick pathway made from salvaged chimney brick

Native landscaping

Most furniture purchased used

Energy Star dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine

Kitchen cabinets made from bamboo and FSC maple with natural, nontoxic finishes

Vermont slate tiles in kitchen chosen instead of foreign slate

Granite counters from salvaged remnants

Compact fluorescent lighting where possible

Salvaged bathroom tiles and tubs

Bathroom counters made from recycled glass or aluminum

Dual-flush toilets

Double-paned, insulated windows.

Insulation in roof (HCFC-free foam), walls (wet-spray cellulose from recycled newspaper) and floors (recycled denim batts).

All demolition materials, fixtures and plumbing recycled, reused or disposed of responsibly

And that, my dear readers, is how it is done!

Home buyers want to know, “Why should I buy a green home?”

There is a great section on the Built Green FAQ page that I have turned into a handout when I meet with home buyers (or builders) that is a TOP TEN list for why to buy a Built Green™ home.

I rephrase that to “any green home”, since there are additional programs now available that make a home green. And this top ten list of why people should buy a green home is the same for people thinking about building a green home. You just can’t go wrong with better health, reduced operating expenses, and a more positive effect on the environment during the construction phase of the home.

It is true that green, healthy homes tend to run a little smaller in total square footage and cost just a little bit more on a per square foot basis. But I will argue that the justification for a smaller and more efficient home is worth the added cost. And I am not saying that because I sell real estate. I personally bought a 3-Star Built Green Certified Home in the Built Green Certified Community of High Point in West Seattle. I walk the walk.

What Are the Top Ten Reasons to Buy a Built Green™ Home?

Contractors in King and Snohomish Counties already build to some of the toughest energy, air quality, stormwater management, and water efficiency standards in the nation. Based on choices by the builder and homeowner, Built Green™ goes beyond even these standards to give you added value, added peace of mind. Following, in no particular order, are ten reasons to buy a Built Green home:

More Money In The Piggy Bank

A Built Green home typically saves money on operating costs because of more efficient energy use with such features as extra insulation, more efficient water heaters, lighting and appliances, and the use of natural daylighting techniques. Many Built Green features save money on construction costs up-front.

Less “New” Odors and Better Indoor Air

Using low-VOC and low-toxic interior paints and finishes can reduce toxins, thereby increasing indoor air quality in a home. Carpeting can be tacked rather than glued with adhesives that can off-gas over time. Mechanical ventilation can be improved by installing a “positive” system that exhausts indoor air at a slightly slower rate than fresh air is brought inside. Improving indoor air can be especially helpful for residents with sensitivities to allergens.

Saves Old-Growth Forests

Rapidly renewable materials such as bamboo, wheatgrass, cork and strawboard can be managed, grown and harvested in a sustainable way, and can effectively replace lumber from old-growth trees. Engineered lumber uses smaller pieces of fast-growing wood to obtain the same sizes and higher strengths as lumber milled from large old-growth forests. Plastic lumber made from recycled plastic jugs can also be used for decking, sills and siding — replacing what are traditionally wood products.

Happier Salmon

Water conservation can be achieved by installing drought tolerant plants and less lawn in landscaped areas. Porous paving can be used in driveways and walkways to allow rainwater to seep into the ground instead of running off. Strict erosion control methods are used to help reduce sedimentation into streams, and natural features of a site can be protected. All of these measures benefit salmon habitat.

More Couch Potato Time

It takes less work and resources to maintain certain materials in a home. For example, siding, decking and trim made from plastic lumber needs little or no painting. Durable materials such as stone, tile and slate last longer and therefore need replacement less often.

Reduced Breezes Inside The Home

A home can be sealed against the outside elements with advanced caulking that goes beyond basic practice. Typically, exterior walls are caulked around windows and doorframes, and on interior walls where they intersect with exterior ceilings. Air sealing can be checked for effectiveness with an optional “blower door” test.

Healthier Yard with Homegrown Topsoil

During construction of a house or development, the topsoil that is removed for grading can be stockpiled and, later, reapplied to the site for healthier soils. Soil amendments can be added, such as compost, to further promote a good soil for plantings that will have a better establishment.

Reduces Dependence on Fossil Fuels & Promotes Cleaner Air

By promoting the use of local materials, transportation and other costs can be reduced. By including pedestrian access and access to mass transit, projects can encourage the decreased use of automobiles, thereby reducing our foreign oil consumption and helping maintain cleaner air outdoors.

Less Trash

Built Green builders and remodelers post jobsite recycling plans and recycle as much as possible of scrap building materials such as lumber, wall board, concrete, cardboardand packaging. They can also incorporate many materials that contain recycled content or have been salvaged. This helps reduce the amount of material going to our already overburdened landfills.

Promotes Businesses Committed To “Green”

The member companies of Built Green include lenders with special financing for Built Green homes; product manufacturers of durable, recycled content, non-toxic, energy-efficient and recyclable materials; service providers of utilities, engineering, consulting, real estate, interior design and home maintenance; builders and remodelers who are willing to not only build green but to go to the extra effort and cost to have their projects certified as Built Green; architects who can design a green home with you every step of the way; and our local governments that are committed to protecting the quality of life for all of us!

If you decide to buy
If you think a green home is for you, be sure to work with a green home professional. I am a Built Green Certified Professional Real Estate agent, and recently changed agencies to be able to provide more green services to my clients. I am happy to be with GreenWorks Realty, the very first real estate company in the USA to focus on green and healthy homes. Bleeding edge, baby!

Photo and “Top Ten” List Source:

Seattle’s ’09 green festival is a “must GO to” event

Hot out of the Inbox is another email reminder from Seattle Green Festival to celebrate what is working in our communities! You absolutely must GO to this event.

You can reduce your own carbon footprint for attending by signing up to get or give a ride at

Seattle Green Festival
Saturday and Sunday, March 28 & 29
Washington State Convention & Trade Center
800 Convention Place

You want to be green, but you have questions.What can I do to save money on my electric bill? How can I green my home on a tight budget? What can I do to support positive change in my own community?

In Seattle, you’ll find answers…Join Sustainable Communities All Over Puget Sound (SCALLOPS) for interactive sessions all weekend on topics ranging from emergency preparedness to energy conservation efforts. This is a great opportunity to connect with your community on issues that affect you most. And how can you support your local economy with your diet? Alice Waters and Bryant Terry, two fantastic chefs, will highlight healthy cooking using local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.

Young people will also have an opportunity to connect with the causes they are passionate about. Find out What Youth Can Do at Saturday evening’s panel discussion or Sunday morning at Keeping it Real, Keeping it Green, both facilitated by young local leaders. Plus, don’t miss Pecha Kucha, a place for designers to meet, network and show their work in public. Green Festival’s edition will feature green building.

Visionary Speakers also include…Laura Flanders, Jerome Ringo, Amy Goodman, Damali Ayo, Dune Lankard, Lawrence Lessig, Paul Stamets, John Perkins, Belvie Rooks, David Korten, Vicki Robin, Malkia Cyril, Alex Steffen and many more.

PLUS…Spring has sprung! Start it off right in our green marketplace with thousands of eco-friendly products and services screened for their commitment to people and the planet—everything from natural body products and organic cotton clothing to Fair Trade gifts and sustainable home remodeling materials. And don’t forget to check out the Organic Valley Kids’ Zone – Community Action –Organic Foods Dining – Organic Beer & Wine Garden – Green Festival Bookstore and Author Signings – Music Stage – ASL Interpretation – Electronics Recycling – Special Green Week Pre-Festival EventsAll at a nearly zero-waste event!

Your all-inclusive 2-day pass: $15
Only $10 (at the door) for seniors, public transit and bike riders, union members, students
FREE – Children 18 and under, volunteers, Green America and Global Exchange members